According to insiders, Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer were chosen to write the script of Fantastic Four, the highly-anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Marvel’s first superfamily. As Deadline reveals, the writing duo will join director Matt Shakman to bring Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the Thing to life in a movie produced by MCU’s supervisor Kevin Feige.
While Kaplan & Springer don’t have much Hollywood experience, they are currently attached to Warner Bros. high profile project Disaster Wedding. While it might seem weird at first glance that Marvel Studios would give control of one of their most important properties to newcomers, Kaplan & Springer could actually bring a new perspective into the franchise while not having a style so rigid that it couldn’t be molded to fit the MCU guidelines. So, while it’s still too early to know where Kaplan & Springer would lead Fantastic Four, we can already hope they will fare better than the previous cinematic versions of the superfamily.
In their first theatrical live-action adaptation, the Fantastic Four was played by Ioan Gruffudd (Mister Fantastic), Jessica Alba (Sue Storm / Invisible Woman), Michael Chiklis (Ben Grimm / Thing), and Chris Evans (Johnny Storm / Human Torch). This version of the superfamily lasted for two movies, and while they are still remembered as the original live-action version of the heroes, neither movie was well-received enough to please comic book fans. The second version of the Fantastic Four tried to follow a completely different path, with a teen cast of characters and an interdimensional plotline that was equally rejected by critics and the audience in 2015. Add that to the 1990s live-action movie that didn’t even get to theaters and it is easy to see how the Fantastic Four doesn’t have a prosperous history in Hollywood.
Besides dealing with the high expectations surrounding any live-action adaptation of the Fantastic Four, Kaplan & Springer will also have to deal with the MCU pressure. Fantastic Four is set to open Phase 6 of the MCU, the third and final chapter of “The Multiverse Saga.” So, besides introducing a new version of beloved characters to the public, Kaplan & Springer will have to deal with the cross-franchise repercussions of any conflict that happens in the superfamily’s solo adventure. That’s some big shoes to fill, and we are all very curious to see how Kaplan & Springer will handle the task.
Fantastic Four will not be the first time a superfamily member appeared in the MCU. Earlier this year, John Krasinski played the role of Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The hero, however, belonged to a different timeline, and there’s no telling if Marvel Studios will bring Krasinski back to play the elastic leader of the Fantastic Four in Earth-616, the MCU main timeline.
Fantastic Four will be released on November 8, 2024.